When Hondo Rivera pulled into the Texas Ski Ranch for the Meltdown 2006 show put on by JP and Betty Perales of Pevents, the folks in New Braunfels pretty much stopped what they were doing and stared. One coherent person, however, was able to continue functioning at a normal capacity and ran straight over to the truck before it could maneuver for a parking space.

That intrepid person was a Truckin' staffer who knew a good thing when he saw it and had a simple request for Hondo. "Turn that thing around, head back out the entry gate, turn right, and I'll meet you on the side road. We're shooting a feature on this baby," the dedicated staffer blurted out.

Hondo was more than willing to oblige and brought his crew with him to spiff up the truck, too. As it turns out, the man is a pleasure to spend time with, as he's the kind of guy that everyone wants to hang out with. He's a man's man.

Hondo owns a company that sells jet airplane parts, and that has afforded him the means to build a project like this. The airplane ties are what led him to use a "remove before flight" lanyard on his keychain, a touch that shows that this truck is really up in the stratosphere.

Not actually a real F-650, Hondo started out with an F-350 and then grafted the sheetmetal from an F-650 to it. The honeycomb of tubing that forms the chassis is a work of art and no doubt the result of Hondo's extensive truck experience. Hondo, we found out, used to build trucks for others as a sideline business. When the demands outweighed the profits, however, he decided to stick with what he knew best and dropped the professional side of truck building. The reality is that this truck is as good as any professionally built truck you've ever seen.